Chapter 164: Prologue
In the fourth epoch, 71st Year of the Mortal Calendar, a strange, unprecedented incident had occurred in the human federation.
In the span of one night, the entire Border Town had been turned into lifeless ruins without any trace or sound, leaving no one unscathed. Scenes of destruction were visible as far as the eyes could see, with the appalling sight of corpses present throughout the ruins. The inestimable cost of property, economical damage, and casualties shocked the human federation to its core.
According to those who were lucky enough to leave with their lives, the disaster had started in an abrupt manner, with them suspecting nothing until it descended on them. It was heralded by the sudden collapse of tall-tiled houses, which was followed by horrible and hideous monsters that went beyond anything they could have imagined began to surge into all parts of the city from its shadows.
"A monster I’ve never seen before descended from the sky. Its blood-curdling appearance sent chills over my back when I saw it…" Stated a knight with lingering trepidation after the incident. He had rushed to aid the Border Town upon receiving news of the attack.
The higher-ups of the Human Federation speedily involved themselves in the investigation and suppressed all news at the first opportunity.
Due to the complete annihilation of the local section of the chivalric order, the additional disappearance of its section head, as well as the lack of evidence and available witnesses, the incident came to an inconclusive end. With the mystery unresolved, no one knew what had been the fuse that set off the disaster nor the motives and implications surrounding the incident; Like a stone falling into the ocean, the truth was never seen nor heard of again.
Currently, Border Town was in the midst of rebuilding. In order to inject new vitality into the settlement, the Human Federation had given huge benefits to those who were going to live there.
"…That’s all. The situation was mostly spiders chasing after people, knights going after spiders, and people running towards knights to seek protection. Mhm, that’s roughly how it went." Adapting an expression as if indulging in idle gossip, Ji Bai leaned back on his chair while spinning a pen. He was talking with the intelligence and logistics personnel responsible for tallying the aftermath that had an expression of doubt.
"Is there anything else worthy of note?" The intelligence personnel was unwilling to reconcile with the fact that he failed to acquire any information of value from this interrogation and asked once more.
"Perhaps, but I was so focused on escaping that I didn’t notice anything. It was a sea of chaos and I can only explain what I saw." Ji Bai shrugged his shoulders.
"If we go by your explanation, are we to understand that the three parties—the crowd, spiders, and knights— were simply circling around each other non-stop?" Interjected a cold voice from the side.
"Those words from my fellow classmate, Miss Parasite, leave no grounds for me to refute her claims. There is sufficient information that shows that this planet is round. She is absolutely right in saying that they circled around each other. In other words, the act of us walking is, in fact, circling around the planet." Ji Bai shot a glance at Lin, who had narrowed her eyes. With his lively and joyful speech, he avoided this question that he suspected to be a retort at him.
"Even though I don’t understand what exactly happened from your words… It gives off a really badass feeling. To be able to perfectly hold down the fort in such a situation, I salute you, Brother Ji Bai! …Hehe, Magical Girl Takes Flight! Pay up, pay up!" Huo Lei grinned from ear to ear, as he furtively stretched his hands towards Pian Zi and Lil’ Sha respectively, who both wore downcast expressions on their faces.
"You guys, what’s that supposed to mean?" Ji Bai raised his brows.
"Hahaha! Brother Ji Bai, you truly didn’t let me down. As for this… Earlier, we’ve actually made bets to see if you would return."
"…Oh, in that case, shouldn’t I also get my share?" Ji Bai pointed at himself.
"Benefactor Ji, you can eat whatever you want, but such words mustn’t be spewn in a whim!" Pianzi, who was clad in the dress of a Taoist, reacted with shock.
"Has thinking about money made you crazy, Obscene Middle-Aged man?" Lil’ Sha pouted her lips.
"Ha? This is the first time I’ve heard that one doesn’t need to pay the fighter his dues for fighting in the ring1. Are you guys trying to pull a dine and dash here?" Ji Bai tilted his head.
"Psh, who’s trying to pull a dine and dash on you?" Said Lil’ Sha with disdain.
"Since I’m done with the questioning, I shan’t impose on you guys any longer. I’ll take my leave now." Seemingly concluding that he wouldn’t be able to get any answers if he probed further, the intelligence personnel bade his farewell and strode out of the classroom, brushing past Lin Tuo who had just entered.
"Mhm?" Lin Tuo shot a puzzling glance at the departing statistician before sweeping his glance over the crowd until it eventually stopped on Ji Bai.
"Say, my little Student Ji Bai. What sort of accomplishment did you stir up again?"
"Huo Lei, that cup of liquor I owe you…"
"Hahaha, no hurry no hurry! I know your difficulties, there’ll be ample time later."
"Benefactor Sha. Recently, this poor Taoist had managed to get his hands on some good make-up and skin care ointments. I wonder, if…"
"Ah? For stuff like skincare, I only use Snow Cream2. Putting on some other stuff is just going to make me feel like those scheming and superficial vixens out there."
"Hey, hey, hey! — Please, could all of you stop ignoring your teacher in such a blatant manner? You guys… are truly the worst first term students I’ve ever had!" Lin Tuo’s finger trembled as he spoke in a devastated manner.
"I really take my hat off to you, youngster Ji Bai. You’ve seriously violated the Order’s law twice. Yet here you are, still fine and dandy, sitting and joking around in the classroom. I can’t imagine a second person with such poise as you in the Moon Order." Just as he was done saying such words, suddenly a miraculous feeling overwhelmed him, making him feel as if the objects in his vision were slowing down. If he had to put it in words… It felt like the flow of time had deviated from normal.
‘This minute felt like it had only elapsed…’
‘Although it’s just a fairy tale to deceive children… This plane we’re living in is reportedly being monitored by countless superior beings, with every star in the sky representing a god. Due to the extreme distance, they’re unable to directly interfere with our primary plane…’
But, if that’s really the case, could my words have angered a god and brought about this situation??
"Alright, class is starting. Everyone, back to your seats." Casting these unrealistic thoughts out of his mind, Lin Tuo got up to the podium.
Even though it wasn’t perfect, the crisis had ended at last.
However, Ji Bai had a nagging feeling that today was quite an unusual day. After an extreme case of bad luck in the morning where the bottle of milk he had bought was stained with blood, an incident of a very bizarre nature had happened once more.
A sparkling and translucent glass cup, which was filled with fresh blood, had been openly placed on the edge of the small forest. That would have been quite an uncommon sight by itself, but the basket hanging above turned the scene into even more of an abnormality.
‘What is that? Is this supposed to catch birds?’
Ji Bai frowned and tilted his head skeptically.
Although such words would probably hurt them, the person who had come up with such a method was obviously not from a high social class and clearly suffered from some sort of brain defect.
‘I mean, just think about it, who would use a cup of blood to catch birds?’
With his thirst currently satiated, he would naturally not harbor any desire towards this cup of blood. After things had come to an end the previous day, Ji Bai had run to the hospital to take advantage of the chaos, bringing two blood bags with him.
‘Well, in all fairness, I wasn’t really taking advantage of any chaos. After all, there had been no one in the hospital and it didn’t seem like anyone had any use for these. Might as well pass it to someone who needs to resolve an urgent crisis.’
‘Mmhmm. I’ve encountered way too many weird incidents today… I gotta go.’
Ji Bai didn’t bother with this bird-catching equipment that was clearly invented by someone whose brain was a bit off from the norm. As he turned around and left, he could vaguely hear someone click their tongue in annoyance from the bushes.
‘What a strange day indeed.’
Walking back on the way he came, Ji Bai scuttled into the school building only to collide head-on with Lin, who was walking out with a multitude of books in her arms.
"Eh well. I’m sorry… Parasite?" Ji Bai was slightly shocked.
"Have you still not returned?"
"Reading more books helps in training the brain to think quicker… This is especially helpful for crawling insects." Lin narrowed her eyes.
"So, can Mr. Cockroach get up now??"
"Ugh…" Only then did Ji Bai realize he was still sprawled on top of Lin’s body.
"Noooo!" Just as he was planning to get up, a shrill voice resounded from outside the door.
Lin and Ji Bai looked in the direction of the entrance at the same time.
A certain silver-haired flat chested(redacted) loli was currently covering her mouth. As if her mind had gone into overdrive, she was softly saying words like "Oh my god…" and "sister-don3".